Returning this week to BBC One, Death In Paradise is one of the network's most successful shows, and we got the opportunity to chat to star Josephine Jobert about the new batch of episodes.
What was it that originally drew you to Death In Paradise and your character Florence Cassell?
The originality of the show. There are no other shows like it that I've had the chance to see. What I liked and still love about Florence is her passion and dedication for her career, her strong will, independence and fearlessness. Even though she's the girly, sexy part of the show, she's always the first one ready for action, whether it's taking on a chase or tackling a suspect in a pool. We'd definitely be best friends if I met her in real life.
You joined the show last series, how different was it filming the new series compared to your first time on the show?
Last year I came in when the show had already started to shoot for the series. I was the new kid on the block so I had to get to know the crew bit by bit. It was a challenge as they'd been working together for the past three years. It was also quite stressful as I was there to replace Sarah who was leaving. I wanted to do my best for the production that was trusting me with the role, the crew and the many people following the show. I was very lucky that they all were so wonderful and made me feel at home. This year was fun rather than stressful because I was coming back home to the family.
What should fans of the show expect from the new episodes?
Lots of things! Unfortunately, I'm not a spoiler fan. But I can tell you this... someone dies at the beginning of each episode. Kidding aside, besides the ongoing investigations, we find out more about each of the character's lives. There's some romance and all episodes have the right touch of humour.
As such a huge hit on the BBC, what do you think it is about the show that makes it so popular with viewers?
I think it's thanks to the right combination of murder investigations, humour and likeability of each character. The majestic scenery of Guadeloupe Island helps, too. Overall each person working on the show loves it and that translates to the screen when you watch it. I'm very proud of being part of this amazing adventure.
What is it like filming in such a luxurious location? Does it take a load off from work at the end of the day?
Yes and no. Let me explain. Yes because well, waking up to such beauty is so wonderful. But let's not forget that we're not there for fun in the sun. It's wake up calls at six if not five in the morning, hours on sets that are scorching hot, mosquitos that take us for an open bar, make up, costume and spotlights everywhere raising the temperature. All that under a blazing hot sun.
I have it easy because I'm always in shorts, tank tops, sandals and light summer dresses on the show whilst Kris and the others are always in suits. But all the hard work is well worth it. Waking up with beautiful views, visiting breathtaking shoot locations and meeting wonderful people along the way on our days off, all makes me feel very lucky and blessed.
Guest stars have become one of the exciting things about each new series, as a regular cast member is it nice to see fresh talent coming through the doors each time?
It is very interesting and enriching being able to work with so many talented actors. They're always happy to be there and bring their good heartedness with them on set. The downside is that they stay a short amount of time. Just as I get to know them a bit better, they have to leave. I always wish they could stay a while longer.
How does this show stack up and differ to your other work?
The major difference is that this is my first show in English. My preperation time was so much more vital for memorising lines and read throughs. In French shows it was easier. Working on Death In Paradise is very challenging, but it enables me to go further in my acting.
What's next for you? Can you share any details?
As for what's next, season six for a start. We are shooting in a few months from now. Before that, travelling a bit here and there, working on my English, getting back to singing some more and finding an agent in London would be great.
Death In Paradise returns to BBC One on Thursday 7th January at 9pm.